Stories of the Pilgrims - M. B. Pumphrey

The Weekly Scrubbing Day

Early one morning soon after the Pilgrims came to Holland they heard strange sounds in the street. Such a splashing and dashing of water! Swish! swish! trickle! trickle!

Could it be the dike was leaking? Mary Chilton ran to the door to see what was the matter.

There she saw Mevrow van Zant and her daughter with jars, and pails, and kettles of water. With her strong white arms the girl dashed the water upon the sides of the house. With long-handled brushes she and her mother scrubbed the windows and walls. Then Hilda dashed on more water and they scrubbed again.

Splash! dash! swish! drip!

How the windows shine! Just find a spot of dust on that house, if you can!

Then out came more pails and kettles of water, and more plump Hollanders in their white caps, short skirts, and wooden shoes. All up and down the street, on both sides of the canal, it was, splash! dash! swish! drip!

Even the canal boats were having a wonderful scrubbing, both inside and outside. Their brass trimmings were polished like gold.

While Mary Chilton looked on with wonder in her round eyes, her father came out of the house.

"Why so sober, little one?" he asked. "I think they will not dash water over you."

"I was wondering if our houses are the only ones on the street left dirty, or if we had the only clean ones before. I do not see any dust."

[Illustration] from Stories of the Pilgrims by M. B. Pumphrey

"On scrubbing day Holland scrubs"

"Oh, that makes no difference," laughed her father. "On scrubbing day Holland scrubs. It comes so often things never have time to get very dusty."